God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (NLT)
Countless books have been written on war and battles within wars. Some are written from the perspective of the political and military leaders who plot the grand strategies. Others are written from the standpoint of individual soldiers who struggle amongst the chaos and danger of the front lines. These latter have few ideas of why they are doing what they are doing. The former are strangers to the mess of actual combat.
Those who belong to God through Jesus need to be aware of the big picture amidst their everyday struggles. So much of what we experience may have us believe there is no purpose, no overarching great design on the part of our Creator. That would be a mistake.
Before God even made us, he knew we would go astray. And so he determined to offer a way back. This was not a case of God conducting some random lottery deciding who was in and who was out. This was God deciding to choose Jesus to be the means by which we could be reconciled to him.
And our text reminds us that it gave him great pleasure. This is no stern faced deity picking winners and losers. This is a God who delights to offer rescue and friendship. This was on his heart, something he longed to do. Our God might resemble the grand strategists who have the big picture in mind. But never forget that same God has been on the front lines with us in the person of Jesus.
We are part of a much larger story, and yet our Maker gets involved in each and every one of our personal stories.